For travel nurses, social media can be a great way to stay connected to friends, family, and colleagues around the country, especially as you move from locale to locale with new assignments. As social media becomes more ubiquitous in our personal lives, its influence is also growing in the workplace. Travel nurse job seeker social media profiles definitely get noticed by recruiters and facilities.
A recent poll by CareerBuilder.com estimates 70 percent of employers use social media to screen potential candidates – up from 34 percent just five years ago. Employers rely on social media profiles as a way to confirm an applicant’s qualifications for the job and get a sense for cultural fit. And although they may not be searching for something negative, many companies report discovering content in the process that raised potential concerns.
As a travel nurse, it’s important to remember you are in near-constant hiring mode. Consider these tips to keep your social media profiles work-friendly and help you land the assignments most desirable to you.
1. Showcase Your Strengths
Use your online persona to your advantage. Social media gives you a chance to stand out in a positive way. More than 44 percent of employers found content on a social networking site that influenced them to hire the candidate. Among the positive traits employers found desirable were:
- Information that backed up the candidate’s professional qualifications
- Evidence of great communication skills
- An overall professional image
- A showcase of the candidate’s creativity
Employers say they’ve favored candidates whose social profiles presented them as a well-rounded individual. Social media can be an effective way to show how your interests, hobbies, and volunteer activities also make you a more desirable employee.
Professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, also provide space to highlight your work experience and accolades. Take a few minutes to brush up the work related details on your social profiles to make sure that everything is consistent with your formal resume.
2. Be Mindful of Negative Content
You knew there’d be a flip side to this. In addition to positive information that supported a hire, more than half of employers said they found social media content that caused them not to hire a candidate, including:
- Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information
- Posts about drinking or using drugs
- Discriminatory comments related to race, gender, religion, or other protected groups
- Bad-mouthing previous employers or a fellow employee
- Exposing confidential information from previous employers
- Posts that exposed lies about qualifications (or busting themselves in obvious lies about absences)
- Signs of poor communication skills
- Posts linking the candidate to criminal behavior
- Using unprofessional screen names
- Posting too frequently
Because matters of privacy and integrity are paramount in the nursing profession, use your best judgment before you hit the
“publish” button. While a post disclosing patient information is an obvious HIPAA violation, other seemingly innocuous posts could still violate your patients’, colleagues’ and employer’s trust. When in doubt, ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable sharing this information or photo in-person with a potential employer.
3. Cover Your Bases
Inherent in social media is interconnectivity. Even if you’re careful about your own original content, also watch out for other people’s photos or posts in which you may be tagged, and articles or content you share, re-post or on which you comment. Sometimes those memes that are funny on the surface don’t necessarily come from the nicest people or places.
Your privacy settings are also important. It may take some extra work to dig into your profile menus to find all the controls, but the protection is worth it. Remember that content coming in from other platforms may not automatically adhere to the settings you intended.
Finally, remember that any post – even if private – can become public and permanent.
4. Go Ahead, Post that Selfie
The main thing to remember is that your social media presence can help communicate important, authentic information about your qualifications and personality. No need to shy away from your online presence. In fact, deleting or hiding your social profiles altogether can be viewed negatively by some hiring managers. But exercising discretion can go a long way toward representing your best self to potential employers.
Do you have other social media tips to share for travel nurses? Comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts.